At the time the topic of separation and divorce is broached there are a ton of things that both parties need to consider like the children, family pets, custody and what to do with your assets. Generally one of the biggest assets a couple will amass will be their matrimonial home. I'm no "real estate divorce specialist" although I know that in the United States there is even a designation due to the high divorce rates, but over the course of my real estate career I've assisted several couples who have decided to divorce and have hired me to assist them with their real estate requirements.
Sometimes things go smoothly and both parties can work together through the process to ensure the property gets sold for the highest price in the quickest timeframe. Other times, there are situations where the parties disagree on everything from who should list the home, how much it should be sold for, and even refusing to accept a reasonable offer when it is presented. I've even been in situations where one person buys the other person out as there was not sufficient proceeds to make it viable to sell the property given the market conditions at the time.
There are many ways to deal with this as part of a separation or divorce and below are some tips to guide you through the process.
1. Don't Tell All ~ Once the decision has been made to sell the property as a result of moving forward with a divorce try to keep from spreading the news to your neighbours, colleagues and other real estate agents. Even when the 'cat' is out of the bag, as they say, you can keep prospective buyers from knowing that you are listing your home due to a divorce by not telling all to anyone who will listen. Some buyers and their agents may strategically use this information to try and get the home at a reduced sale price. Your listing agent is obligated to keep your confidences so where possible do the same and protect your sale price.
2. Everything Costs ~ As part of the listing and selling process be sure to sit down with your listing agent and discuss what expenses will be incurred with the sale of the property. This could include staging, repairs, legal costs associated with the sale, and of course real estate fees. Expenses such as your real estate fees generally are paid from the proceeds of the sale of the home. Other expenses may be shared between the two parties. Often you as the sellers look at the offered and agreed upon sale price but forget to deduct these expenses from the proceeds to get an accurate picture of what will remain to be divided as agreed between the parties.
3. Market Timing ~ You may have to sell regardless of what the market conditions are and that could just be the reality that you are living in. However, working with your real estate agent you may receive advice to hold off placing the property for sale during a slow or difficult time for the market. This may be something you will want to consider in trying to achieve the best sale price for your property in the quickest timeframe. Your listing agent should be able to demonstrate when it is best to go on the market and provide you with guidance.
4. Make It Mine ~ In some circumstances one party can buy the other party out of the property. You will want to have a market done on the property or an appraisal to find fair market value for the home or condominium. Then if you can agree on a sale price for the property one person could obtain financing to buy the other persons equity. Sometimes this is done to allow one person to move on with their life without being tied to the end resulting sale of the property, and other times one person simply remains in the property.
5. Rent or Lease ~ Although probably a rare situation there are times when a couple divorces and they still have the best interests of each other at heart. For instance, couples who have amassed a rental real estate portfolio and choose not to sell it all as part of the division of assets. However, there are even times when a couple divorces and decide to rent out their home until market conditions improve or until other personal circumstances change. In any event, it is suggested that you have a leasing or rental specialist assist you with establishing base rents and perhaps even look at property management of the home to avoid having to deal with it personally.
6. The Real Estate Agent ~ Throughout the process an integral part of getting your home prepared for the market, assisting you in arriving at a suggested listing price, reviewing your projected net proceeds, and guiding you through everything from the listing process, viewings, home inspections and closing is your real estate agent. We work as an independent service provider and our goal is not to be on one persons side or the other but rather to ensure that the estate achieves the best possible sale price in the quickest period of time and meets the other criteria that you as sellers establish as part of the listing agreement.
7. Moving On ~ Often when a property is listed for sale as the by product of a divorce one or both parties will be looking to purchase a new property to call home. Your real estate agent again can assist you by working with your mortgage specialist to determine what you can afford and what properties meet your budget and criteria. A skilled agent will work hard to find you the right property and you may even wish to put a conditional offer in on a property until your existing property is sold. Who better to assist you in finding your new home then the agent who has just successfully marketed and sold your existing home and is aware of your past and new circumstances.
Separation and divorce are difficult times for any family and sometimes rationale thoughts are scarce. In trying to ensure that you come out the other side of the process of selling your property and moving on you'll find that the services of a licensed real estate industry member are essential. The real estate agent can bridge your past life and assist you in moving to the new life that you are embarking on all while having the best interest of your real estate needs in mind.
If you are making some lifestyle changes and are considering listing your property for sale or looking to move to a new property I'd be more than happy to assist you in this process. Put my experience to work for you and let me help you achieve your goals. I can be reached at www.century21.ca/dale.cameron, call or text me at 902.240.0768 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Century 21 Trident Realty Ltd.